RFID Security Question

Computer Science
Tutor: None Selected Time limit: 1 Day

Explain RFID and describe the components of RFID systems. Include in your discussion some of various RFID security and privacy threats.

Apr 29th, 2015

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is the wireless use of electromagnetic fields to transfer data, for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects.

RFID tags are intelligent bar codes that can talk to a networked system to track every product that you put in your shopping cart


RFID Tags

RFID tags are tiny microchips with memory and an antenna coil, thinner than paper and some only 0.3mm across. RFID tags listen for a radio signal sent by a RFID reader. When a RFID tag receives a query, it responds by transmitting its unique ID code and other data back to the reader. There are two types of RFID tags—passive and active.

RFID Readers

RFID readers, also called interrogators query RFID tags in order to obtain identification, location, and other information about the device or product the tag is embedded in. The RF energy from the reader antenna is collected by the RFID tag antenna and used to power up the microchip. There are two types of RFID readers:

  • RFID read-only readers: As the name suggests, these devices can only query or read information from a nearby RFID tag. These readers are found in fixed, stationery applications as well as portable, handheld varieties.
  • RFID read-write readers: Also known as encoders, these devices read and also write (change) information in an RFID tag. Such RFID encoders can be used to program information into a "blank" RFID tag. A common application is to combine such a RFID reader with a barcode printer to print "smart labels". Smart labels contain a UPC bar code on the front with an RFID tag embedded on the back.


2.1 Confidentiality To protect and preserve the confidentiality of information, it should be restricted only to authorised parties. The means of mounting an attack on the confidentiality of the system differ greatly, depending on which part of the system is targeted.
 2.2 Integrity Preserving the integrity of information can be defined as the assurance that all information and related methods that process it are accurate and complete (ISO 2005). Integrity can be easily subverted if authentication has been eschewed or once it is bypassed. Therefore, we will look at attacks that threaten proper authentication in the RFID systems, and their integrity
2.3 Availability An asset is considered to be available when it can always be accessed and used by all authorised parties (ISO 2005). The availability of the RFID edge hardware can be compromised when it is permanently or temporarily disabled (through removal, destruction or sabotage).

Apr 29th, 2015

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